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Mortgage Application Activity Rises Slightly

WRE News November 30, 2023


Mortgage Application Activity Rises Slightly

Mortgage application activity inched up during the week ending Nov. 24, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The week’s results included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Market Composite Index, the MBA’s measure of mortgage loan application volume, scored a 0.3% uptick on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. However, on an unadjusted basis, the index fell by 33% compared with the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was up 5% from one week earlier, but the unadjusted index dropped by 31% and was also 19% lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index decreased 9% from the previous week and was 1% higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity dipped to 30.6% of total applications from 32.4% the previous week.

Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 13.5% from 14.8% the week prior while the VA share of total applications increased to 12.6% from 11.3% and the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5% from 0.4%.

Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, noted, “Rates have declined more than 50 basis points over the past six weeks, which has helped to spur a small increase in purchase applications, but activity last week was still around 20% lower than a year ago. The purchase market remains depressed because of the ongoing, low supply of existing homes on the market. Similarly, refinance activity will likely be muted for some time, even with the recent decline in rates, as many borrowers locked in much lower rates in 2020 and 2021.”

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